Sick As A Dog; Drunk As A Skunk

I’m sick as a dog. It’s not so bad, just a mild cold. But I called in sick for work today, so I guess that qualifies me to be sick as a dog. This led me to wonder where did the term “sick as a dog” come from. When I have questions like this, I go to my own dog. My dog is eleven, which in dog years is 77. I just watched a documentary on Vincent Price and he died at 82. I hope my dog outlives Vincent Price. I don’t why but my big fear is that he won’t. So, earlier today I asked my dog where the phrase “sick as a dog” comes from. He told me that it goes all the way back to Chester, who was, of course, the dog of Jesus Christ. I know what you’re thinking: Jesus had a dog? And you know what I’m thinking? I’m thinking you’re a moron because everyone knows Jesus had a dog and his name was Chester. One day Chester became sick because he had some bad turkey. Jesus came home and said, “Hey! What happened to my dog?” And Chester said, “Don’t just stand there, do something! My stomach’s killing me!” Jesus said, “Hang on, buddy.” Jesus rolled up his sleeve and started rubbing Chester’s stomach. Chester said, “Stop rubbing my belly and help me, you freak!” Jesus said, “Shut up and give me a minute!” Jesus rubbed his belly for twenty days and nights until finally Chester was healed. “Wow, how did you do that?” Chester asked. Jesus just smiled and went down into the basement to work on his time machine.

The moral of the story is a dog can be just as sick as a human, hence the phrase “sick as a human.” This got me to thinking about the term “drunk as a skunk.” Where did this come from? For questions like this, I go to the skunk that lives down the block. The skunk won a bundle in scratch-offs and was able to afford his own house. I asked where this phrase came from and he said it goes all the way back to the Civil War. Abraham Lincoln was making some of his famous mashed potato pie for the troops when he noticed General Grant was holding a skunk. “What are you doing with that skunk?” asked Lincoln. Grant said, “Skunk? How dare you? This is my brother-in-law and we’ve been drinking all day in celebration.” Lincoln said, “That’s not your brother-in-law, you souse. That’s a skunk!” Grant said, “How would you know? You never even met my brother-in-law!” Then Jesus arrived in his time machine and said, “I need lie down. That time machine gives you jet lag. I’m sick as a dog.” Grant said, “I’m drunk as a skunk.” Lincoln said, “I’m hairy as a clam.”

I’ve come to learn that history is the greatest teacher. I also learned that if you take too many cough drops, you get loopy.

– Will


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